Out of the Crate

Heartfelt Thank You and the White Glove

Dear Terri,

After saving ‘Bruce” from being euthanized in Mississippi, you arranged to have him transported to ROAR, an animal shelter in Ridgefield CT, which is where I met him. You are an organization consisting of full time Veterinarians and/or students studying Veterinarian medicine, and in your spare time you rescue dogs who would otherwise be put down. Your work ultimately touches so many, and the benefits these animals bring to us humans is numerous. I wanted to share with you one story of one animal that you saved.

Berkeley (formerly known to you as Bruce) is a border collie lab mix. We brought him home four months ago, and we approximate his age to be 18 months now. He’s black with wisps of mahogany on the fringes of his fur around his ears and tail. He has one white foot which stands out against his black fur. He is full of personality and especially loves to be belly rubbed by people. He seeks out those people who need a warm touch. He just knows. When he’s not on his back with paws in the air, he’s happy to walk or run and meet all passing people and dogs. He is a mix of high energy meets calm cool. We love him. And as is the case with so many rescues, has done more for us than we have done for him. However, this is not a note about that…

Working at the animal shelter as a volunteer, I have seen dozens of amazing animals be matched with the perfect home. I’ve seen how families are transformed and made complete. ROAR has trained our animals as companions for Vets, and we have over 30 trained therapy dogs that reach schools, nursing homes and hospitals where they bring not only comfort and connection to those they reach, but true joy.

But here’s the part I didn’t realize about dogs and their super powers, until I brought Berkeley home.

I have three adult children of my own, grown and out of the house. We’re fortunate to live close by my eleven year old nephew who is a bright, articulate child, however, is not overly affectionate towards us. We had a dog before Berkeley for 13 years and our nephew showed little interest in him. Frankly, I wouldn’t have called  him an “animal” lover. He and I have very little in common, he loves video games and legos and I love dogs and my work.

His family happened to be at our house the night we brought Berkeley home. Actually there were several people and lots of commotion. Berkeley did his belly rub thing, and everyone enjoyed meeting him. My nephew later came up to me and said, wow, that dog just stole my heart. I thought to myself, that’s surprising. Let’s see where this goes.

The next week we asked my nephew if he wanted to help us train Berkeley. Knowing Border Collies need intellectual stimulation and exercise we wanted to get him started on the right foot. Our nephew played training games with us, and genuinely fell in love with Berkeley. When he started school a few weeks later, his Mom told me he was sharing with his friends that he was a dog trainer. He had pictures of Berkeley in his locker. And then a funny thing happened, when my nephew saw me and my husband, we got  big, warm hugs from him. Our conversation changed. We had and have so much in common. He loves hiking in the woods and watching Berkeley run, but he also likes hiking in the woods with his Dad and friends now too. He shows genuine pride, empathy and affection for Berkeley (and us too).  Below is a poem he wrote in school from Berkeley’s perspective.

December 1, 2015

Period 1


“The White Glove”


It is my first sight in the morning

My white glove.

When I chase that rambunctious rubber ball, it carries me where I intend to go.

My white glove.

When I am settling down after a long day of play, it is right there.

My white glove

When my tummy is being scratched kindly by a human, it rests on their thigh.

My white glove.

I am man’s best friend and my white glove helps me keep that title.

My white glove.

The white patch of fur on my front left paw is

My white glove

And it is always there when I need it.


I would like to thank Allyson, ROAR’s passionate leader and the truly exceptional staff and volunteer community she manages, for making ROAR a special place for these amazing animals.  We are so grateful to you.

Berkeley dec 2015


One thought on “Heartfelt Thank You and the White Glove

  1. I can’t say enough about the positive impact Berkeley has had on our family. Looking forward to many long hikes with our nephew and Berkeley

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